Tag Archives: Patrick Cacchio

BDN Commitment Profile: Michael Westray

The 2011 Duke Football season is behind us. It's time to look forward to the future, and that begins with the class of 2012. Duke has already secured 15 verbal commitments in this class, and BDN will profile each of the newest Blue Devils as we head toward Signing Day 2012.


Westlake ATH Michael Westray committed to Duke in July

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 pounds
Position: Safety
Hometown: Waldorf, Maryland
High School: Westlake High School - Class 3A

Senior season recap: We finished 8-3 and made it to second round of playoffs. I thought that we had enough talent to win the championship, but I'm proud that we fought hard. I was voted to 2 All Star games. My coaches stressed State Championship and team first so I never really tracked stats. I played CB, Safety, RB, WR, and Punter. 

Scholarship offers: Duke, N.C. State, and Liberty

Commitment to Duke: I chose Duke for the opportunity to get a great education, play in the ACC against the great competition, the family atmosphere, and a defense that I'm excited to be a part of.

Considering other schools: No

Academic interests: Computer Science

Pro or College Role Models: I’ve heard comparisons to Laron Landry and Antonio Cromartie.

College goals: Obtain my degree, help the team win championships, avoid serious injuries, and leave as a better player and person.

Planned enrollment: No set date yet. I'll coordinate with admissions and the coaches.

Message to Duke fans: I can't wait to get on campus. I look forward to spending my next 4 years at Duke and being a part of the community.  Go Duke!

BDN Scouting Report: Westray will join fellow Westlake alum Jon Woodruff in Durham next year, and both will be looking to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball. A high-end athlete, Westray played all three phases for Westlake, but will likely find a home at safety in Durham. He has an excellent nose for the ball and showed good instincts against the run. He will need to improve his footwork and coverage skills, but possesses good lateral agility and quickness. As a fundamentally-sound tackler and disciplined defender, Westray has the potential to develop into an excellent safety in Jim Knowles' defense.



BDN College Football Picks – The Final Week!

Well, we took one on the collective chin last week as it was upset city in the top 25. With rivalry week upon us, anything can happen and the coveted BDN inaugural pick'em championship is still up for grabs.

1. Andrew
2. Bob -1
3. Patrick -3
T-4. Mark -6
T-4. Guest -6

With the Victory Bell at stake this week, we welcome in former Duke lineman Brandon Harper, who knows what it's like to face the Tar Heel pass rush. Thanks for joining us, Brandon!

Mark - A handful of seniors will play their last game for Duke as they travel to North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels. If Duke were healthy, I think they could pull off a win but the team is battered at this time. Still, I expect Duke to play with a lot of heart and give the home team all they want only to come up just short in the end. UNC 28, Duke 24

Bob - Duke can salvage a disappointing season by knocking off Carolina and returning to Durham with the Victory Bell. This game like all games will be decided by which team controls the line of scrimmage, wins the turnover battle and executes without making mistakes. Duke must achieve balance on offense by successfully running the ball and I'm still waiting for the special teams to make a huge play such as a blocked punt or return for a touchdown. Tomorrow would be a great time for something special to happen.
Duke 28, UNC 26

Patrick - The Blue Devils are desperate for a win to build momentum for the program into 2012. Duke's seniors led a strong effort a week ago against Georgia Tech, and they'll have one last chance to ring the Victory Bell on Saturday. It's Duke vs. North Carolina and anything can happen, but I think Matt Daniels and Donovan Varner will find a way to win this game against their rivals. Duke 28, UNC 27

Andrew - Although Coach Cutcliffe has brought a level of respectability and stability to the Blue Devils, Duke is looking to end the extensive losing streak to arch rival, North Carolina. The last two weeks have brought promise in frustratingly close games to quality opponents. If they can accomplish the and defeat the ethically challenged Tar heels, it would generate momentum for next year's squad and show a clear sign of progress for in-state recruiting. Unfortunately, a chance to ring the victory bell is likely at least a year away. UNC 31, Duke 21(unfortunately)

Brandon - Rivalry Week, lots of emotions will be left on the field this week. For the Blue Devils to achieve their desired outcome they must come together and play their most consistent game of this half of the season. History tells us this is always a close game; this year will be no different. With both teams ability to rally in the second half, it will be interesting to see how this one turns out. I think the Defense will continue to feed off senior safety Matt Daniels and give the Carolina offense some trouble. If QB Sean Renfree and the Duke offense can start where they left off last weekend against Georgia Tech, the high powered offense could potentially lead them to a win. I see Duke coming out playing with their backs to the wall, feeding off adrenaline from rivalry of this game and the seniors especially Senior Offensive lineman Kyle Hill who's season ended early, Duke takes this one and rings the bell Duke 31, UNC 28

Thanks to all who followed along with us this season, and a big thanks to all who participated. Please send your feedback for our inaugural college football pick'em to patrick@bluedevilnation.net. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cincinnati Bengals’ LB Vincent Rey picks against the BDN Staff in Week 12

Andrew Slater added to his lead last week and finds himself with a two game cushion heading into the final two weeks of the college football season. With ten tough games each week, it's still anybody's ball game, but time is running out.

1. Andrew Slater
2. Bob Green -2
T-3. Patrick Cacchio -5
T-3. Guest -5
5. Mark Watson -7

The Guest picker has slowly surged back into a tie for 3rd place on the season, a testament to the quality of guests we've had join us this season. The tradition continues this week as we welcome back former Duke LB Vincent Rey. Rey has seen action in all nine games this season for the 6-3 Cincinnati Bengals. He finished his Duke career 9th all-time in tackles (330) and is the Duke all-time record holder with 3 fumbles returned for TDs. Thanks for joining us this week, Vinny!

Mark - The Blue Devils have been hit hard by inuries and they'll face the option for the first time this season. The secondary has been missing assignments of late, but it'll be the very young front that will have to be disciplined for Duke to win. Tech is beatable, just not on this day. Georgia Tech 35 Duke 21

Patrick - A year ago, the Blue Devils faced three option offenses, but this season, just one. The option offense is difficult to prepare for and with a plethora of injuries on both sides of the ball, Georgia Tech will represent a significant challenge for Duke. Duke should have success moving the ball against Georgia Tech if they stick to an aggressive gameplan; expect another big day for Duke’s “Killer V’s.” An emotional pair of seniors in Matt Daniels and Charlie Hatcher will try to will the Blue Devils’ defense to an upset victory, but the explosive Yellow Jacket offense will still find its way into the end zone. Georgia Tech 35, Duke 24

Bob - Duke has lost five games in a row and if the Blue Devils are to prevent the streak from reaching six the first step is to slow down Georgia Tech's running game. Moreover, the Duke offense must open up and score points against the ACC's top rated passing defense. It is time for Coach Cutcliffe to pull out all the stops and throw the whole playbook at Coach Johnson. With Duke's injury report listing multiple key contributors as Doubtful or Questionable, I believe the Yellow Jackets will be too tough to handle. Georgia Tech 35, Duke 21

Andrew - This should be a dangerous match-up for a reeling Duke team. Georgia Tech enjoys both one of the best passing defenses in the country and one of the most disciplined offenses in college football. Although there were definitely some positives out of last week's road game against UVA, I think the mounting Duke injuries and talent differential will prove to be too much for the Blue Devils. Georgia Tech 35, Duke 21

Vinny - Georgia tech runs the option really well, and Paul Johnson has been developing it as well. However, the Duke defense has seen the option a lot, and will play it well. Led by Matt Daniels, the defense well make crucial plays. The high-powered Duke offense will put up the points needed against the Tech team. Most importantly, Duke will win the drive-starting average, thanks to their special teams players playing fast and physical. Duke 27, Georgia Tech 21.

Valor Christian OL Alex Kozan has a plan

Valor Christian's Alex Kozan is one of the top OL prospects in the class of 2012

In their three-plus years in Durham, Head Coach David Cutcliffe and Offensive Line Coach Matt Luke have built the Duke offensive line into what is expected to be a position of strength in 2011. The past two recruiting classes have brought in a very good group of young offensive linemen, and the Blue Devils hope to continue that trend with the class of 2012. Alex Kozan, a 6’4” 295 pound prospect from Valor Christian in Colorado, is one of the most highly recruited offensive linemen in the country, and the Blue Devils are among the long list of schools he is considering.

BDN: Can you start off by describing your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?

As a player, I’m smart, I never forget my assignments, I’ve got good quick feet that allows me to stay in good position. Explosiveness off the ball, hand contact, hip movement, that kind of stuff, that’d be my strength.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on this spring?

Pretty much everything, you know, you just work on technique, you’ve always got to work on technique when you’ve been off the game for six months, so you just work on pass technique, run technique, that kind of stuff.

BDN: Coming off back-to-back state championships, is a three-peat your goal for your senior year?

Definitely, you know we’ve got a strong senior class, we’ve got probably 25 seniors this year. A lot of us have been with the program since our freshman year, our first varsity year when we went 4-6 that year and then won two back-to-back championships, so we’re just trying to get it done for a three-peat this year.

BDN: As you look at your college decision, what are the most important factors you are looking for in a school?

Five things. Number one, business program, that’s going to be my major in college, so a good business program. Number two would be coaching staff that I get along with and is going to develop me as a player, send guys to the NFL and send guys to be All-Conference players. Number three is going to be the strength and conditioning program of the team, does it have a good strength and conditioning program? Will they develop me physically, get me bigger, faster, stronger? Number four is whether it’s a place where I can compete, both as a player to start earlier and where I can compete as a team for conference championships, BCS bowl games and national titles. Number five is that I have a strong faith in God, so a place where I can grow that faith and they’re going to be supportive of that.

BDN: What schools have you been in contact with the most?

On the East Coast, for your region, I’d say North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, South Carolina, would kind of be in that area. Up more Northeast would be Pitt, Syracuse and Connecticut.

BDN: Have any schools stopped by your practices this spring?

We’ve had Syracuse, UConn, I don’t think Duke came out, Wake came out, North Carolina is supposed to come out, I don’t know if they’re still coming. Those are the schools that have come out from the East Coast.

BDN: Do you have any visits planned for this spring or summer?

I’m still looking at it. I’m going to narrow it down to 7 or 5 by July or August and I’m going to try to visit as many of those schools as I can unofficially, and then a couple of them on official visits if they’re farther away, like schools on the East Coast, to get a better feel for the program.

BDN: It sounds like you have a good idea for when you want to narrow things down; do you have an idea for when you would like to make your final decision?

I want to take a couple officials, so I’d probably say October.

BDN: Is there anything else you think is important for college football fans to know about you?

You know, just off the field, I’m going to be a great person, a strong character for the team, I’m going to help the team off the field, I’m not a guy who will get in trouble or anything like that. On the field, I’ll give 110% and people will see that in my game.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Alex, and best of luck to you.

Alright, thanks.


Huge recruiting coverage weekend in store

Top notch coverage of the main Duke recruiting targets awaits you - join BDN Premium and judge for yourself the quality input. Pictured Julius Randle

If you are not a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium, now is a great time to join for our Nike EYBL live coverage begins on Friday.  As many of you know, the Tournament of Champions features no main Duke prospects at this time, but at the Nike EYBL in California?

BDN Recruiting Analyst Andrew Slater and our west coast correspondent Varand  Khachadouri will both cover the loaded event.  You will get first hand reviews and live updates on our members only message board from the events start to finish.

And who will you hear about?  Let's start with the Georgia duo of Tony Parker and Alex Poythress, two front court players at the top of the Blue Devils wish list.  Our staff will also follow Jabari Parker and Julius Randle, two absolute studs.

They will also check out the talented CIA Bounce team with Andrew Wiggins and a young upstart named Theo Pinson.  And of course, covering Pinson means you will hear from another hot name on the Duke recruiting radar, PG Rodney Purvis.

Heck, I am just scratching the surface with names ... Nerlens Noel, Brannen Greene, Trent Williams and others will be checked out as well.  And of course, the interviews then start rolling in all next week and beyond.  And if you haven't seen one of our interviews of late, let's just say they are about as concise as one can get, averaging almost 2000 words each.

Summer time balling and covering the grass roots circuit is our time of year, a strength of this site, but we are more than that.

Football recruiting is red-hot and we have the fastest growing premium football coverage around where Patrick Cacchio is on the ball with the latest breaking news.  He's broke the last two recruits at Duke and this site is definitely football friendly.  He also pens a weekly in depth article called Football Friday for members only.

Check out BDN Premium for yourself if you are a Blue Devils fan that loves a dedicated site that is Duke-centric.  While we are starting to cover the national recruiting scene as well, we are the only site sending reps to get the information you really want to hear, that being the latest on Duke prospects and that will not end.

And changes are in store as well, as we rework the site to better suit your needs.  Quite frankly, we have a great staff, friendly members that want you to join them in the latest discussion on a flame free message board that isn't filled with not so witty one liners distracting from the subject matter.

And we are all Duke fans at heart just like you and that shines through as well. 

If there is a press conference at Duke, we are there in person.  If there are events from the Men's Basketball Banquet, the NC Pro Am action to the Coach K Academy, we are there.  And if there is a basketball or football game, we are there in person as well.  In short, BDN a full coverage site.

I'm excited about the future here and again, I love the staff I have assembled that has a perfect balance of youth and wisdom.  I personally invite you to join us and promise you that you will love the information within.  We want you to compare BDN's coverage with our competition for we are more than proud of our product and think you get a lot of bang for the buck over a years time,

Lastly, thanks for visiting Blue Devil Nation and be sure to bookmark the site and follow us on our informative Twitter and Facebook pages which can be found on the main page.  And it is you that makes up the Blue Devil Nation, a site with total dedication to Duke Athletics.  Now, come on in and join us!

Mark Watson, owner of Blue Devil Nation

California LB Deion Williams commits to Duke

Lutheran (CA) LB Deion Williams is the fourth member of Duke's class of 2012

The Duke staff has recruited California well in recent years, and that trend continues in the class of 2012, as the Blue Devils received their 4th verbal commitment on Wednesday from a Golden State prospect. Deion Williams, a 6’0” 215 pound outside linebacker prospect from Orange Lutheran, called Coach Cutcliffe Wednesday and informed him of his decision. The 2nd team All-Trinity League honoree should help to fill the Blue Devils’ need for a hard-hitting linebacker. A standout both on the field and in the classroom, Duke was the first school to offer Williams and he was able to visit Durham earlier this spring for an unofficial visit. The newest Blue Devil checked in with BDN shortly after his decision.


BDN: How did you come to your decision?

I actually just called Coach Cutcliffe today and sealed the deal. I was thinking about going to visit other places and see if anywhere else was a better fit for me, but the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized that nowhere else would prepare me for my future like Duke would.

BDN: What other schools were you considering?

I was looking for Stanford to show some interest but they haven’t, and Washington as well, but they haven’t shown me any real interest.

BDN: What was it about Duke that really stood out to you and helped you make your decision?

Well, Duke, it’s a very beautiful place, a very beautiful campus, so that really stood out to me. And then just what I want to do with my life, the study of genetics, and going into that field, I feel like Duke has one of the best programs in the world, and a lot of other people feel that way as well, so they were just the best fit for me going into college.

BDN: Congratulations, Deion, and best of luck to you.

Thank you, thank you.